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Patti Smith to perform at Sarasota botanical gardens

Bill DeYoung

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Singer, songwriter, poet and author Patti Smith will make a rare bay area appearance Feb. 15 at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.

Smith’s lecture and musical performance will coincide with the opening of Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light, an exhibition of photographs by Mapplethorpe – of orchids, hyacinths and irises – paired with Smith’s poetry and lyrics concerning nature and gardens.

Mapplethorpe and Smith met in New York City in 1967. Their enduring relationship, through which the two spent time as artistic collaborators, proved formative to each other’s creative practice and artistic output. The acclaimed photographer died in 1989.

Their relationship was chronicled in Smith’s 2018 memoir Just Kids.

Selby Gardens’ Conservatory, world renowned for its collection of orchids and bromeliads, will be reimagined as Mapplethorpe’s photography studio, complete with drop cloths and lights that will spotlight and frame living flowers.

Said Selby Gardens curator Carol Ockman in a prepared statement: “Through this unique and immersive installation, visitors will be able to explore Mapplethorpe’s aesthetic strategies for capturing beauty, including his debts to classical sources and the specific ways he uses light, composition, and color in images of flowers.

“These principals of classicism, sensuality, and beauty are echoed from the museum throughout the gardens and conservatory, and are highlighted by the resounding words of Smith, Mapplethorpe’s once lover, close friend and muse.”

Ticket information was not made available.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens website.

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